First Canadian Female Combat Soldier Killed - A Victim of Feminist Ideology

by Hilary White and John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, May 18, 2006 ( – The Canadian media and Parliament, on the day of the vote to extend the Afghan mission another two years, is awash in the story of the death of Capt. Nichola Goddard, 26, the first woman to be killed in combat in Canadian military history. She died in a firefight with Taliban insurgents west of Kandahar, Afghanistan. A member of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Goddard was serving as a forward artillery observer, helping direct fire at enemy positions from near the front lines, when the LAV III (Light Armoured Vehicle) she was riding in was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
  Summing up the Canadian position on the irrelevance of “gender” in all human affairs, the Toronto Star, long the voice of orthodoxy for the Canadian left, ran the headline, “Deaths Hit Home Regardless of Gender”. Star staff reporter, Scott Simmie instructs Canadians, “Respect her sacrifice. But don’t treat the death of Capt. Nichola Goddard, who was serving with Task Force Afghanistan, any differently than you would that of a male soldier.”

Simmie was quoting Heather Erxleben, Canada’s first female combat soldier, saying that the media attention and public outburst of mourning over Goddard’s death is a sign that the notion of women in military combat roles has yet to gain full acceptance in Canada. She told the Star, “It’s just throwing the clock back, it’s going back in time — not going forward… If it was a man (killed), wouldn’t it be just as important?”

What to Erxleben, however, is a lament over the failure of the feminist movement to erase “gender disparity” in the minds of ordinary Canadians, would likely be taken as a sign of societal health by others.

Dianne Watts, a representative of REAL Women Canada told that while generally supportive of women in the military, because of the obvious differences in endurance and strength between men and women, her organization opposes women in combat roles.

Watts pointed out moreover that when in 1989 Canada chose to allow women in combat, the decision was based on a capitulation to feminist ideology rather than research.“This came about through a decision of a human rights commission in 1989,” said Watts.

Ignoring research which suggested women were inappropriate for combat positions based on differences in physiology, the commission ordered women into combat concluding “… the Canadian Armed Forces held stereotypic views about women’s capacities and capabilities and as a result adopted paternalistic policies to give women special but not equal treatment.”

Watts concluded that the current situation where Canadian women are in combat “is a fallout of the radical feminists imposing their ideologies across the board.”

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America told, “Those responsible for orchestrating the placing of women in combat are now downplaying the result of their actions. The full-throttled dismissal of a young woman’s death is reminiscent of what we hear in the abortion debate, that a woman dying is an acceptable price for radical feminists to manipulate society into their unworkable dream.”

“What does it say about a society in which men send women out to defend them?”

Other articles on this issue:

U.S. Group Says Jessica Lynch Should Not Have Been in Iraq in the First Place

Military off base in sending women into combat

Women-in-combat ban ‘far reaching’

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